Thilo is an associate professor at the Quantum Device Physics Laboraory at MC2. We meet him and his colleague Elsebeth Schröder, who is professor at the same laborary and since 2013 also coordinator of the Master's programme Nanotechnology.
Erasmus Mundus Nano+ (EMM-Nano+) is the name of a collaboration between Chalmers, KU Leuven in Belgium, University Grenoble Alpes in France, TU Dresden in Germany and University Barcelona in Spain. The higher education institutions cooperate with their respective Master's programmes in Nanotechnology. The collaboration has been in effect since 2005. Chalmers has been involved since the start of the its own Master's programme Nanotechnology. At most, 19 Erasmus students have been in studying in Gothenburg, a record achieved two years ago.
The arrangement means that the students study their first year at KU Leuven in Belgium, and the second year at one of the other four co-operating universities. A number of students then choose to come to Chalmers. At the Nanotechnology program they read together with the existing students. Course packages are also tailored partly because the students also study some courses normally given during the first year of the programme.
Internal evaluations show that the teachers are very pleased with the Erasmus students:
"The students who choose Chalmers handle the courses very well. They have a good height in their knowledge. It is of course pleasing that some of them choose to come here," says Elsebeth Schröder.
Thilo Bauch acts as local coordinator for the Erasmus students. This means that he has a special responsibility for taking care of them on site, giving them scientific advice and keeping in touch with KU Leuven, who coordinates the programme.
"The assignment is 15%. There is a lot of administration, but also teaching. I am attending the Erasmus Nano Board, which meets three times a year. I am also co-arranging a workshop for the Chalmers students every three years, most recently in 2016," Thilo says.
The workshop is ongoing for five days and one important feature is the display of the Nanofabrication Laboratory, which is usually handled by Ulf Södervall.
Now that the European Commission grants additional funding of three million euros, it is a larger amount than before. The money goes to scholarships and pays tuition fees and accommodation for 58 students, distributed on the four partner universities and three rounds.
"It feels really good that we can continue. The international students are a good addition to the local nanostudents. They add very much and are really aware of what they want, because they have made an active choice to come here. It's no random choice. It's good that they come into the environment here," Elsebeth says.
The students come from all over the world. Thilo Bauch has an active part in the selection. Together with colleagues from all partner universities, he reviews all applications during a two-day marathon session in Leuven every year. A sweaty job that involves accepting students already for the first grade in Belgium.
The Commission also shows its appreciation by giving the EMM Nano+ the stamp "Success Story", as one of only six designated success programmes, of a total of 376, in the last ten-year period. The stamp embraces programmes that "have distinguished themselves by their impact, contribution to policy-making, innovative results or creative approach, and can be a source of inspiration for others."
In addition, the Commission also has assigned the program the rating "good practice" to "particularly well managed and inspiring" programmes.
"Not only did you assess the actual education, but also everything from the application process, how we choose the students, what activities are offered locally, to how we work with integration, are being examined. Chalmers contributes a lot to this success stamp," says Thilo Bauch.
The new grant and quality stamp increase the attractiveness of the programme.
"It also gives us many good candidates for our PhD positions. Many students remain and begin a postgraduate education," says Thilo Bauch.
Since its inception, approximately 350 students from 55 countries have been examined in the EMM Nano+ programme.
Text and photo: Michael NyståsRead more about the EMM Nano+ programme
>>>Read more about the Nanotechnology Master's programme at Chalmers